Simple easels for outdoor painting

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on May 12, 2012

in DIY, DIY Outdoor Easels, Outdoor Easel Painting, Outdoor Play

The weather is just wonderful outside this time of the year and to take advantage of this, I put together a set of simple easels for some outdoor easel painting…

To make the outdoor easels, I purchased several sheets of plexiglass from Lowes that are about 24″ x 30″ (or so) each and used clear packing tape across the top edge to tape two pieces of plexiglass together….

We used scotch tape to add sheets of paper for painting on the easels although we could have just painted directly on the plexiglass (we may try this next time)

And we set out paper cups filled with a variety of paint colors for the children to share and paint with…

Because the easels are simply sheets of plexiglass taped together, they are washable and they stand up nicely so at least two children at a time can paint on either side…

The children took their time exploring the outdoor painting process. Although we did this on the concrete today, I think next time we will take the easels out to the woods or the grassy areas to switch things up…

A simple way to bring easel painting outdoors and once you are all done for the day, just stack the easels up or fold them down flat and set aside for another day…

So get outdoors and easel paint!


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1 Andi S. May 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Is it hard to get them to stand up? I would think they would fall easily when the kids were painting, but I love the idea and really want to try it!!

2 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Hi Andy,
We did not have any problem at all with the easels falling over or standing up. I think they were just large enough to be very sturdy but I suppose if your kids tried leaning on them (like any kind of easel) they would be more than likely to fall over.

3 Maria Sousa May 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Hi Deborah!
Good ideia!
This week we also used two sheets of plexiglass and clear packing tape… to built a “glass book” (they named it) and we painted with it! Take a look at Bloguefolio!


4 Scott May 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Deborah, this is a great, simple idea for easels. You know we love painting, so I may need to get to Lowes soon. (I still need to make those window books.)

5 Joy May 12, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I love this idea so much. As usual, I have a few questions for you. About how much did the plexiglass cost? How many pieces did you buy? What size are the t-shirts you used as smocks? Was it difficult to remove the paper and tape from the plexiglass? How hard would it be to remove it so that another child can take a turn when one finishes? Did any paint get on the ground?

6 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Hi Joy
The best advice I can give is for you to give this a try by making at least one easel of your own and inviting a child to paint. All of your questions really are dependent on where you purchase your materials, how many kids you have, how big your kids are, what kind of tape you use, and your approach to the process.

7 School Sparks Renee May 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm

So cute. I love your ideas, Deborah. Thanks for sharing! Renee

8 crystal@growingajeweledrose May 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Another great use for your plexi-glass books. Yet another reason I need to get to Lowe’s :)

9 Mary May 13, 2012 at 1:04 am

How about painting right on the plexi-glass easel then laying a sheet of paper on top of the painting to make a print and the child will be able to take their masterpiece home with them?

10 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 13, 2012 at 10:02 am

Ooooh Mary – we will have to try that! Such a very good idea!

11 Teacher Tom May 13, 2012 at 9:48 am

Thank you, Deborah. I’m sick of dragging our big easels inside and out. This is such a simple, brilliant idea! I’ll be making some of these ASAP.

12 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 13, 2012 at 10:02 am

The nice thing about these Tom is they can get wet! SO perhaps you could just leave them outdoors and let the Seattle rain wash them off:)

13 Vicky May 13, 2012 at 10:50 am

Fabulous ideas. We have one easel but but with three kids, that doesn’t fly outdoors. Now each girl can have their own. Thanks so much! Pinned to my Kids Art folder. Vicky from

14 Margaret@growingplay May 13, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Agree 100% of lugging easel inside and out. I finally just left the easel outside so maybe I could make one of these for inside, perhaps table top size. Sounds like I will have to play around a bit to find just the right fit.

15 Joyce @Childhood Beckons May 19, 2012 at 5:56 am

Fantastic idea! We have several big sheets of plexi glass that I’ve been saving to make an outdoor easel. I’ve been trying to think of the best way. This is probably it. :) Thanks!!

16 Shree August 24, 2012 at 11:22 am

This is excellent idea ….. I was just about to go and purchase an art easel.

Many reviews of ones under $50, said the easel was unstable and others over $50 were just too expensive.

This option is cheaper and I can use it inside or outside, which is very pratical.

Thank you !

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